Most of us have a pretty nice camera by 2013–whether it’s on our smart phone or a DSLR. It’s easy to snap a lot of pictures, the real challenge is to get a great photo that makes it past facebook and into your home decor! I am by no means a professional photographer, but here are some tricks my photography friends have shared with me that I have found helpful!
1- Framing the Shot
There are a lot of great tips online to help you prep your camera for that perfect shot, but the most basic thing to look at is the rule of thirds. A general rule of photography is to divide your photo into three sections vertically and horizontally. Just like this:
Most cameras will have a setting that puts this lines in your viewfinder. Anywhere that these lines cross is a visually appealing place to have your focus (what your shot features). Of course, the rule of thirds can be broken, but you need to know the rules to break them! Here are a few examples from pinterest:
2- Flash Photography
Flash is overrated. Have you ever painted with water colours? You get so excited to use such vibrant colours, but once you start painting you realize the colours all show up really transparent? That’s what flash does. It washes everything out. Your skin looks paler and your environment looks harsher. Sometimes when your camera isn’t all that great, flash can be a lifesaver, but if there is any other way to light the shot–use it! Always try taking a picture without flash to see if there is hope. If you have an SLR, turn your aperature to a lower setting. This will let more light into your lens. For more info on aperture settings check out this site! If you must use flash, try putting a business card at a 45 degree angle over your flash. This is will direct the light above your subject and help keep them vibrant!
Here are two examples of the difference flash makes on quick, automatic shots in a dimly lit room:
Without flash! No squinty eyes and warmer hues!
Much more Christmas-like without flash!
Once you’ve captured a few great shots, it’s time to print some photos! You can do this at places like Walmart of Costco, but when you print at photography focused shops–like Black’s or Ivan’s Camera–you’ll get higher quality prints! Don’t be afraid to print weird sizes either. Not all pictures have to be 4×8! Your arrangements will look much more professional with different sized photos. Here is one of my favourite size guides!
4- Print snaps from your phone!
There seems to be this unwritten rule that you can only print photos from high megapixel cameras, but one of my favorite photography pins ever was a print out of instagram photos! Instagram’s easy editing tools make for awesome quick shots of some of the best memories.
I hope these tips help you decorate your home with your own memories! Feel free to share any of your own tricks!
There are some green homes out there that are … well, way “out there” in terms of design. On the other hand, there are eco-friendly homes that look really cool, which proves that you don’t need to sacrifice style for sustainability.
Home for Life
The above home is a zero-energy home; it was created by Danish architects AART and has been dubbed Home for Life. Here’s what they have to say about this awesome green architecture:
Home for Life is a self-sufficient and CO2-neutral demonstration project and thanks to 7m2 solar collectors, 50m2 solar cells and a solar heat pump the house produces more energy than it consumes. With an energy surplus of 9kWh/m2/year it takes approximately 40 years for the house to generate the same amount of energy that was used to produce its building materials and at that point the house will have returned more to nature than it consumed.
To read more about Home for Life and to see more photos, visit the Dagens Design website.
Low-Impact Home Design
This green home was developed by Case Design & Project Management. Here’s how the architects describe this home:
Situated on a generous, flat, in-city lot, the home features Solar Pre-heating, Radiant Floor Heat, Advanced Framing, Rainwater Harvesting, Cellulose Insulation, Rainscreen siding, and is Close to Public Transit.
To see more stylish green architecture by Case Design, check out their website.
This breathtaking off-grid home was designed by Altius Architecture. To fully appreciate the beauty of this home – without actually visiting the property and seeing it with your own eyes – check out the full description and several photos the Altius Architecture website provides. Here’s a snippet of what they say:
Designed for an off-grid property, this cottage will feature a hybrid wood/solar radiant heating system with propane backup. Evacuated tube solar arrays will fill mass store tanks that feed a hydronic radiant floor system. This system will supplement a passive gain and solar mass strategy. Summer cooling is through solar shading and passive stack effect ventilation. A series of photovoltaic panels provides the buildings on the property with electricity. Large overhangs control the solar gain while green roofs mediate temperatures and control runoff.
Pre-fab (prefabricated) or modular homes are eco-friendly and cost-effective. To see several photographs of some amazing modular homes, check out our blog post called Coolest Modular Homes from Around the World.
These eco-friendly homes are becoming more and more popular as housing costs rapidly increase and people become increasingly aware of the environmental footprint they’re leaving. Container homes have several benefits, including affordability, durability, sustainability, the ease of expanding and relocating, and the speed of construction. Additionally, container homes don’t need to look scrappy and unattractive; on the contrary, these homes can be impressively designed. Check out our blog post called The Benefits of Container Homes to see some photos and learn more.
More Green Architecture
Have you come across an architect’s website or seen some really cool-looking green homes? Leave a comment to share your findings!